INTRODUCTION - HEALTH EQUITY IN TORONTO WHAT IS Urban HEART? WHY USE Urban HEART?
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FUNDING AND PARTNERS CONTACT INFO
INTRODUCTION - HEALTH EQUITY IN TORONTO
Health equity means that every person has the right to live in circumstances that promote good health.
In Toronto, and everywhere that health and wealth have been compared, research shows that low income and socially marginalized people are sicker, die earlier, have greater unmet health care needs, and have limited access to healthy resources.
Achieving health equity involves more than providing equitable access to health care. We also need healthy urban infrastructure, safe recreation, access to good jobs, and an end to violence, racism, isolation and community disenfranchisement.
In Toronto, hundreds of organizations across different sectors are working hard to advance these goals. Yet it's difficult to measure the impacts of our various efforts, and to know if our work is making a significant impact.
We're doing many different things. However, we need to work together, across sectors, to make health and social equity a reality.
WHAT IS Urban HEART?
Urban HEART stands for "Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool."
In 2010, the World Health Organization launched Urban HEART to help city leaders and their communities resolve health and social inequities.
Urban HEART is a framework that a variety of organizations with diverse mandates can use together to maximize their collective impact on equity. This framework provides opportunities for collaboration while allowing organizations to continue to focus on their unique roles and mandates. Urban HEART can shed light on where, why and how our diverse initiatives are/aren't converging to produce real change.
Urban HEART combines research evidence, partners' organizational data and community knowledge to assess urban equity in relation to five policy domains:
1. Physical Environment & Infrastructure
2. Social & Human Development
3. Economic Opportunity
5. General Population Health
WHY USE Urban HEART?
Urban HEART is a credible tool designed by the World Health Organization and adapted locally for use in Toronto. It is a useful tool for organizations working toward equity in Toronto because it is:
1) Simple and practical: Urban HEART uses a simple "red," "yellow," "green" report card format to show if communities are faring well or facing equity challenges that need to be addressed.
2) Evidence-based: Urban HEART offers an evidence-based approach to community priority-setting and investment planning.
3) Inclusive: Urban HEART helps generate effective dialogue and participation across sectors that are directly and indirectly related to health.
4) Sustainable: Urban HEART is not designed to be a stand-alone program requiring new investment. It relies on existing reporting systems and is intended to be mainstreamed into participating organizations.
As the Urban HEART process unfolds, intersectoral alliances for health and social equity are fostered in several ways:
• by developing shared outcome indicators of success,
• by sharing data to measure these outcomes, and
• by designing and implementing joint policies and action plans.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY, TECHNICAL REPORT, AND DATA
• Background on Urban HEART @Toronto
• WHO (World Health Organization) Urban HEART tool
• WHO (World Health Organization) Urban HEART user manual
FUNDING AND PARTNERS
Urban HEART @Toronto is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. We are a partnership to adapt and implement Urban HEART for Toronto. We are demonstrating how to work together across sectors to solve urban health and social inequities. Our work builds on and complements diverse research, tools and equity interventions that are already underway in Toronto. We will set an example of intersectoral collaboration from which other global cities can learn.
Partner organizations include:
• Centre for Research on Inner City Health (CRICH)/ St. Michael's Hospital
• City of Toronto - Social Development, Finance and Administration Division
• Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)
• United Way Toronto
• WoodGreen Community Services
Urban HEART @Toronto:
To learn more about Urban HEART @Toronto, contact: